Category Archives: Free Courses

The Monetary Polaris or Back to the Future (Free Book)

Monetary Polaris Book Cover






Free Book: Gold, the Monetary Polaris  by Nathan Lewis 

I highly recommend this book to understand our current mess and how we can go back to stable money and a prosperous world for all.  Before dismissing the idea of a gold standard with thoughts of–there is not enough gold; we tried that before and why gold, we now have Bitcoin–learn first how a gold standard works and then financial and monetary history. Your study will pay huge dividends.  Lewis debunks the myth that you need 100% gold-backing for paper money. (See Rothbard’s book, Case for a 100 Percent Gold Dollar)

For a great romp through financial history and the role that gold played: Gold as money Lewis  Another great book.

Lewis writes on page 5, “A gold standard system has a specific purpose: to achieve, as closely as is possible in an imperfect world, the Classical ideal of a currency that is stable in value, neutral, free of government manipulation, precise in its definition, and which can serve as a universal standard of value, in much the manner in which kilograms or meters serve as standards of weights and measures.”

The author shows how and why the Classical principle of stable, gold-based money once made Americans wealthy. Why not now?

Stable money along with clear property rights/rule of law and low taxation/regulatory burdens have provided the means for the greatest human prosperity.

View Nathan Lewis’ articles here:

Video Lecture published on Feb 18, 2014: Http://Www.Cato.Org/Events/Gold-Monet…

In this sequel to Gold: the Once and Future Money, Nathan Lewis describes the theoretical basis of gold-standard monetary systems. Lewis argues that the pre-1913 world gold standard system was perhaps the most successful monetary system the world has ever seen, enabling high levels of economic growth. Descriptions of both Britain’s economic rise under the gold standard and the United States’ rise to economic prominence under gold are also discussed.

Part 2: Analyzing a Gold Mining Company–Initial Steps

Mark Twain: “A mine is a hole in the ground with a liar standing next to it.” 
2-BGMI-Gold both-W2 (1)

Initial Steps

We first have to understand the product/market of our gold company. Gold companies produce gold and silver which is money. What is money?  Precious metals have exchange value which makes up a large part of their value.  You first have to understand the gold market. Note: why did gold go down LESS than other commodities such as oil in the 2008/2009 credit crisis?

You need to draw up an industry map. How? Find out who the participants are.

Start with history:


QUIZ: What is the best environment to invest in Gold mining equities. Why?

We will circle back to an industry map after you have read about the industry.

What determines the price of gold: Also, do a search for gold and/or mining stocks and then read his posts.

The Case For Gold by R Paul

Gold Dollar by Rothbard

Roubini Why Gold Won’t work


Gold as collateral:   Also, do a search for gold.

Read free research on gold as money:

View all five videos on money:

Two excellent books: Gold, the Once and Future Money by Nathan Lewis. Also, Gold: The Monetary Polaris by Nathan Lewis.

Gold and inflation:

The case for gold:

Understand royalty companies:   (read all five parts)

Then read presentations of Royal Gold, Silver Wheaton, Franco-Nevada, Sandstrom from their websites for a good overview of the gold mining market(s).

These sites can get you started. Don’t believe the hype! Also, go to to view video on valuing gold and silver stocks.

Go to and search for Jim Grant AND gold,   John Doody and mining stocks.  Ditto for Brent Cook, Rick Rule. Search for their comments.

That will get you started and then next week, I will post an industry map. Ask questions.   In two weeks we will crack a company.

Update March 17, 2014: Discussion of Junior Resource Sector



Detecting Fraud: Seminar on Reading 10Ks, 10Qs and More


The free webinar, “SEC Filings Master Class,” took place Nov. 13-15, 2012.

Michelle Leder, who makes her living unearthing news in SEC filings, will help you feel more confident in your SEC-document sleuthing. In three one-hour sessions, you’ll enhance your ability to spot red flags in SEC filings.


  • At least four things to look for in Form 10Ks that can result in good stories
  • At least four things to look for in proxies that can result in good stories
  • At least four things to look for in Form 10Qs that can result in good stories


For each of the documents below, Leder will point out at least four key things to watch for that can produce good stories. She’ll offer examples of stories that have been done, point out where to find these types of stories in the fine print of the SEC document and offer attendees a chance to practice finding the news themselves.

  •  Hour One: Form 10-K, or the annual summary of the company’s performance, is filed within 60 days of the end of its fiscal year.
  • Hour Two: Proxy, or Schedule 14A, provides information to shareholders before the annual meeting. It includes executives’ compensation.
  • Hour Three: Form 10-Q, or the quarterly summary of the company’s performance, is filed within 35 days of the end of each of its first three fiscal quarters. This session will also touch on other key filings.


Michelle Leder launched (originally in 2003 to take “a closer look at the things that companies try to bury in their routine SEC filings,” according to the website. Its launch coincided with the release of her book, Financial Fine Print: Uncovering a Company’s True Value. Morningstar bought the site in 2010, but Leder bought it back in 2012.

What do you think?


Check out the resources below. At your own pace, you can walk through the self-guided lesson on tips for digging deeper into SEC filings.


AK Rifles

“You can’t build lasting stock market gains or solid GDP growth on debt. Because debt cannot expand forever. Sooner or later it must stabilize and then it must contract. When that happens, all the positive features of debt become negative features. Instead of borrowing and spending more, people must spend less and pay off past debt. Instead of adding to corporate sales and profits, they subtract from them. Instead of driving up asset prices, they push them down.”

Borrowed money has an almost magical effect on the way up. It comes out of nowhere. So there is no labor cost to offset against it. It goes almost directly into corporate profits.


If you have a few favorites, please let me know. 

                                                      -work in progress-

My Other Blogs

Un Inversor Inteligente (spanish)

Ferrer Invest (spanish)

Seeking Wisdom

Value Investing Research

Magic Formula Investing

Outstanding Investor Digest

The Manual of Ideas

Value Investors Club

Value Investor Insight

Value Line

Value Investing Blogs

All Value Investing  Check out the videos!

Above Average Odds

The Brooklyn Investor:

Buffett FAQ

Fundoo Professor

Gannon and Hoang on Investing


Greg Speicher

Margin of Safety


The Inoculated Investor

Simoleon Sense

Street Capitalist

Value Investing World


Warren Buffett Resource

Value Investing Sites




Seeking Alpha

Value Investing Firms

Ariel Investments


Baron Funds



Century Management

Clipper Fund

Davis Funds

Dreman Value Management


First Eagle Funds

First Pacific Advisors

Formula Investing Funds


Greenlight Capital

Himalaya Capital Management

Hummingbird Value Fund

Longleaf Partners

Mackenzie Investments

Muhlenkamp & Co.

Oakmark Funds

Oaktree Capital Management

Olstein Funds

Pabrai Investment Funds

Pzena Investment Management

Redfield, Blonsky & Co.



T2 Partners

Third Avenue

Third Point

Tweedy, Browne

Weitz Funds

Wintergreen Funds

Value Investing Schools and Courses

Centro Enseñanza Online Manuel Ayau  (spanish)

Columbia Business School

Gabelli School of Business

Kellogg School Of Management

Management Development Institute

Richard Ivey School of Business

UC Davis Graduate School of Management

Value Oriented Companies

Berkshire Hathaway

Fairfax Financial Holdings

Notable Economists

Carlos Rodriguez Braun  (spanish)

Jesús Huerta de Soto  (spanish)

Juan Ramón Rallo  (spanish)

Philipp Bagus

Xavier Sala-i-Martín

Amateur Portfolio Managers



Unience (spanish)

Media and other resources

Farnam Street

Barking up the wrong tree

Futile Finance

Inteligencia y Libertad  (spanish)

Libre Mercado  (spanish)

Grupo Retiro  (Family Business, spanish)

Michael Mauboussin

Santa Fe Institute

Libertarian Think Tanks

CATO Institute

Instituto Juan de Mariana  (spanish)

Ludwig von Mises Institute

A reader suggests:

  1. Bronte Capital’s blog – John Hempton shares his thought process and interacts frequently with readers on the blog. (
  2. Distressed debt investing blog (
  3. Corner of Berkshire and Fairfax forums (                                 

Book Club for The Intelligent Investor; Can a Company Have Too Much Debt? Free Courses


Book Club for Value Investors (Discussion)

Graham & Doddsville – Issue 20 – Winter 2014

Can a Firm Have Too Much Debt


Is There Too Much Corporate Debt_Bernankie 1988

The above papers were written during the LBO craze of the late 1980s which, in turn, was driven by the all-time low in asset values of the early 1980s.

Liquidation and Debt Capacity   Worth a read!

Free Course with Yale’s Schiller on Financial Markets and Risk:

Argument Clinic

Valuation Classes for Beginners from Modern Graham

GURU Oct 23




The immediate & obvious answer, as with most things in life, is ‘What else would I bloody do…?!‘ But I have to admit, I’m an autodidact – always have been, always will be, ever since childhood – which unfortunately made organized education increasingly intolerable** the older I got. However, when it comes to investing, the odds are stacked in my favour – organized education doesn’t offer you a hope in hell of becoming a good, let alone agreat, investor. As people often notice with regard to MBAs… [Again, I can't resist this classic!].

Analyst Handbook Chapter 1: What is Investing?


Gold is not necessary. I have no interest in gold. We’ll build a solid state, without an ounce of gold behind it. Anyone who sells above the set prices, let him be marched off to a concentration. That’s the bastion of money.~Adolf Hitler

There are about three hundred economists in the world who are against gold, and they think that gold is a barbarous relic – and they might be right. Unfortunately, there are three billion inhabitants of the world who believe in gold.~Janos Fekete

Chapter 1: Analyst Book for CSInvesting_Chapter 1_What is Investing


  1. Chapter 20_Margin of Safety Concept
  2. Mr Market by Ben Graham
  3. Mises on Money_Vol_3 by Gary North

Postscript (Adding)  Montier

Read–Financials: Opportunity or Value Trap   on 13 August 2008. Mr. Montier does a good analysis at trying to find a margin of safety in banking stocks on the eve of the 2008/2009 credit crisis. 

Thank you for your prior comments on the introductory chapter. My main takeaways were: 1. many liked the commentary in the case study and 2. Perhaps break up the large intro into smaller sections.

Listen carefully to this interview with Paul Singer

Paul Singer





Rough, Rough Draft of Intro to CSInvesting Analyst’s Handbook



Below is a rough draft of one of many chapters of the CSInvesting Analyst’s Handbook.  The goal will be to inform and organize all the material on this blog to help others teach themselves.  Criticism–be tough–is welcomed.  The intro is the easy part, building up the other chapters will be a tougher job.

Analyst Book for CSInvesting_Introduction


The latest version of Leather Apron Letter is available for download:

The Leather Apron Letter 9/27/2013

To subscribe, go to and enter your email address in the subscribe box.

If you wish to unsubscribe, go to and enter your email address in the unsubscribe box.



Bubble Watch and Readings

Bubble Watch


Read more in the Short Side of Long: SSOL_Issue_09


Free issue of Summer Readings from Grant’s:

The Dao of Capital:Dao-of-Capital-Spitznagel A kind reader alerted me to this excerpt of a book by an ex-pit trader. We never crossed paths but if you seek the truth eventually your path will cross with others of like-mindedness. The author gives an accurate portrayal of pit trading. An interesting read of an Austrian Trader/Investor. Sign up for his weekly newsletter

Farnum Street

From the desk of Shane Parrish …. (Farnum Street)
On Sunday, August 25, 2013


Start here.

The most popular article this week was: 66 Personal Development Habits For Smart People.

Last week’s Brain Food covered: Richard Feynman’s love letter to his wife, The Laws of Simplicity, 3 Moocs by Nassim Taleb, an interview Maria Konnikova, and a lot more.



What I’m reading

A Few Lessons From Sherlock Holmes, Peter Bevelin
Peter is easily one of my favorite authors. This book comes out next month but I was lucky enough to snag a pre-release copy. Peter’s books tend to be hard to find after they come out, so you’ll want to pre-order. One of his other books,Seeking Wisdom: From Darwin to Munger, is the best book you’ve never read. He also wrote: A Few Lessons for Investors and Managers From Warren Buffett.

Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman
Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard expands on the history of the company as well as how his business philosophy has changed over time. I had no idea they almost went bankrupt a few times. (He summarizes the book pretty well in thishour long talk.)

See the big list of what I’ve been reading.



What do Farnam Street readers read?

I’ve had a few requests for this recently.  Here’s a quick look at what books Farnam Street readers purchased in July (alphabetical order).

30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans
(I interviewed the author, Karl Pillemer)

A Little History of the World: Illustrated Edition

Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder

Berkshire Hathaway Letters to Shareholders
(Most of these are freely available. Reading Warren Buffett’s shareholder letters helped me understand business more than my MBA. It was also a lot cheaper.)

How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character

How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading

It’s Not All About Me: The Top Ten Techniques for Building Quick Rapport with Anyone

Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind

On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein

Seneca, Volume IV, Epistles 1-65 (Loeb Classical Library No. 75)

The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking

The Decision Book: 50 Models for Strategic Thinking

Writing That Works; How to Communicate Effectively In Business


Sponsored by: #ogilvychange — Little ideas from big thinkers


Still Hungry?

 Prince Rupert’s drop (also known as Dutch tears) are glass objects are created by dripping molten glass into cold water. The glass cools into a tadpole-shaped droplet with a long, thin tail. The water rapidly cools the molten glass on the outside of the drop, while the inner portion of the drop remains significantly hotter. When the glass on the inside eventually cools, it contracts inside the already-solid outer part. This contraction sets up very large compressive stresses on the exterior, while the core of the drop is in a state of tensile stress.

 The adult brain is far more malleable that we thought, and so learning can be child’s play if you know how. (↬ Dan Pink)

+ Peter Thiel - You are Not a Lottery Ticket (an interesting follow up to the link from last week: A wide-ranging conversation between Gary Kasporov and Peter Thiel)

Hear Vladimir Nabakov Read From the Penultimate Chapter of Lolita.

+ Before You Hit Send, Read This.

Why Mega-Projects Always End Up Costing More Than Expected (There are a host of fascinating incentives on the part of the companies, the politicians, as well as numerous biases such as the planning fallacy at play.)

The Psychology of Bidding on The Price is Right.